A young carer is someone under 18 who helps look after someone in their family, or a friend, who is ill, disabled or misuses drugs or alcohol.

How many young carers are there?

  • There are about 700,000 young carers in the UK. 
  • That’s about one in 12 secondary aged pupils.
  • There are likely to be young carers in every school and college.

What might a young carer do?

  • Practical tasks, such as cooking, housework and shopping.
  • Physical care, such as helping someone out of bed. 
  • Emotional support, such as talking to someone who is distressed.
  • Personal care, such as helping someone dress.
  • Managing the family budget and collecting prescriptions.
  • Helping to give medicine. 
  • Helping someone communicate.
  • Looking after brothers and sisters.

Being a young carer can have a big impact on the things that are important to growing up

  • It can affect a young person’s health, social life and self-confidence.
  • Many young carers struggle to juggle their education and caring which can cause pressure and stress.
  • In a survey, 39% said that nobody in their school was aware of their caring role.
  • 26% have been bullied at school because of their caring role.
  •  in 20 miss school because of their caring role.

But young people can learn lots of useful skills by being a young carer.

How we support young carers

Carers Trust helps over 21,821 young carers to cope with their caring role through specialised services across the UK.

These services are delivered by Carers Trust Network Partners, which are independent charities offering young carers the chance to be young people free from their caring responsibilities through trusted activities, clubs, outings, holidays and one-to-one support.

Get online support

Young carers can also get 24-hour support, every day of the year, from our online services for carers. Visit Babble if you are under 18. You’ll be able to find other young carers, chat, have fun, share experiences and get information and advice.

Babble is run by our team of qualified staff who can answer your questions and offer support via email or one-to-one webchats. All this in a friendly and safe environment.

Watch our video about Babble: